Saturday, February 21, 2015

Simple Couscous Salad

Going forward, I'll make an effort to highlight easy meal options for the busy parents. I will add keep adding to this list, which you can access by clicking on the 'Kid-friendly' label.

To give you an idea of what goes on in my kitchen, here is what I cooked this week:

Monday - Thai red curry with sauteed tofu and mixed vegetables. I bought all natural (as natural as it can get) red curry paste from the store. This dish was hardly any work after that. All I had to do was bring a can of coconut milk and red curry paste to a boil, add sauteed tofu and mixed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, red and yellow peppers, a couple of red radish) and cook for 3-4 minutes. Lots of chopped cilantro for garnishing, and it tasted great with some leftover peas pulao from the night before. 
My daughter ate cooked carrots, radish, peppers, and a little bit of tofu from the curry. 

Tuesday - Avocado and roasted red bell pepper grilled sandwich on multi-grain bread. Avocado is so creamy by itself, I didn't have to add any cheese. The girl ate avocado slices from my sandwich. 

Wednesday - Couscous salad with cucumber, tomato, and cilantro. Baby girl loved this couscous salad!

Thursday - Asian style salad with mixed greens, shredded carrots and broccoli (using leftover broccoli and carrots from Thai curry), tangerine, and peanut dressing. None of the ingredients were good for the baby - she ate some pear and avocado. 

Friday - Simple cabbage sabji with roti. Then we went out for dinner to kick off the weekend. Shreya loves eating fresh roti.

Saturday - Husband made a delicious pizza with kale pesto base, lots of veggies and cheese on top. Baby girl enjoyed picking out spinach off the top. 

I make variations of the couscous salad every time. And it always tastes great. This is the basic Mediterranean style salad to which you can add many other things. In addition to cucumber and tomato, you can have olives, black beans or chickpeas, diced peppers, diced zucchini, feta cheese, chopped spinach or basil etc. The simplest version is great as a light meal. Or you can eat it with a vegetable and beans stew or lentil soup. 

Couscous Salad with Cucumber & Tomato

1 Cup uncooked couscous 
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Small cucumber - diced (big or small depending on how you liked it)
1 Small tomato - diced
2 Tablespoons lemon juice 
Chopped cilantro for garnishing
Salt & pepper to taste
  • Cook couscous according to the package instructions. Add olive oil and salt while cooking it. 
  • Add pepper just before taking couscous off the heat. Take it out into a flat bowl, and fluff it up by running a fork through the couscous gently. 
  • Once couscous cools down a little, add diced cucumber and tomato, sprinkle lemon juice, and mix well. 
  • Garnish with cilantro. You can use your favorite herb, such as basil or parsley. 
Persian cucumbers taste the best in this recipe. You can use halved cherry tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes. They are bursting with juices and make the salad look pretty. Some toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds on top would be great for crunch. There, I just gave you a whole bunch of different permutations-combinations.


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